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India signs agreement with Japan on rail safety

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India signed an agreement with Japan last week on enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety, a press statement said here on Tuesday.

The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed here on February 17 between Railway Board Chairman A.K.Mital and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Vice-Minister Hiroshi Tabata.

The areas of cooperation include rail inspection, rail wielding and providing automatic railway track safety inspection, maintenance of rolling stock and “any other relevant railway safety matters jointly determined by both sides” with the aim to prevent major rail accidents.

The agreement with Japan comes at a time when the train derailments are on the rise. In 2016-17, the number of consequential train accidents remained the same level as last year at 95. While the unmanned level crossing accidents declined from 27 in 2016-17 to 16 this financial year, the derailments rose from 56 to 74.

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